Posts Tagged ‘Race’

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Daily International News 08.18.10

August 18, 2010

Daily International News
August 18, 2010

Northeast Asia
Koreas
Report: NKorea proposed summit talks with SKorea
[AP]
N.Korea producing badges of heir apparent: report
[AFP]
North Korean MiG jet crashes in China
[LAT] and Pilot Killed in China Crash Believed to Be Korean Defector [WSJ]
Tweets With North Korea May Breach Law, South Warns
[Bloomberg]
Hungary reveals North Korean debt request
[FT]
South Korea stages anti-terror drill
[BBC]

China/Taiwan
US opposes use of force in South China Sea dispute [AP]
China Defense Ministry refutes Pentagon’s China report
[Xinhua]
Taiwan-China trade deal passed by Taipei legislators
[BBC]
iPhone-maker rallies workers after China suicides
[AP]

Japan
Japan analysing damage to tanker in Hormuz Strait
[Reuters]

Southeast Asia/Pacific
White House: US to support UN inquiry in Myanmar
[AP] and U.S. supports creation of U.N. commission of inquiry into war crimes in Burma [WaPo]
Thai Groups Denounce Website Censorship
[WSJ]
Indonesia’s coral reefs dying at alarming rate
[AP]

South/Central Asia
WikiLeaks: Pentagon ready to discuss Afghan files
[AP]
Medvedev talks with Afghan, Pakistani leaders
[AP]
Pakistan aid ‘will not fall to extremists’
[BBC]
Pakistan floods: EU pledges 30m euro aid boost
[BBC]
India panel suggests tougher nuclear liability bill
[Reuters]
Three Indian U.N. peacekeepers killed in Congo attack
[Reuters]

Middle East
Israel hits suspected weapons manufacturing site
[CNN]
Netanyahu’s visit to Greece signals strategic rapprochement
[DW]
BlackBerry users eye alternatives as curbs loom
[AP]
Iraqi Leaders Fear for Future After Their Past Missteps
[NYT]
Ireland, North Korea’s ambassadors meet Ahmadinejad
[Tehran Times]

Africa
Sudan says will deport foreign NGO workers
[AP]
Workers plan further South Africa strike
[CNN]

Europe/UK
Nick Clegg promises to overhaul social mobility
[BBC]
UK HMRC staff sacked over race abuse
[BBC]
France Prepares to Deport Foreign Gypsies
[WSJ]
Germany charges ex-Rwandan mayor with genocide
[AP]

Americas
Lawmakers in Mexico to Debate Drug Fight
[NYT]
Brazil candidates begin daily election broadcasts
[BBC]
Haiti delays ruling on Wyclef Jean’s presidential run
[BBC]

Domestic
Some Republican figures urge candidates not to focus on Ground Zero mosque issue
[WaPo]
Obama remarks on mosque take root in races
[WashTimes]
Blagojevich Prosecutors to Retry After One Conviction
[Bloomberg]
Dr. Laura Says She’s Quitting Radio After N-Word Flap
[ABC]

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Labour’s ‘Victory’ over Racism: A Premature Pat on the Back?

January 14, 2010

Today, in an unusually proud statement by Communities Secretary John Denham, Labour proclaimed its near victory over racism, making the point that the United Kingdom not enjoys the most culturally-aware and accepting population ever seen on the island. The statement, coupled with the release of a report entitled “Tackling race inequality: A statement on race” was intended to not only highlight the multitude of efforts by Labour MPs over the years to recognised these problems” and “legislate against racism” but also as a way to erode away the racist platform upon which UK’s nationalist parties stand, particularly the BNP.

However, this pat on the back might be a little premature. Although the UK is more exposed on a wider-scale to some Caribbean, African, and South Asian cultures, incidents of ethnic violence grew in the 1990s – between 1994 and 1998 there were around 5000 reported racist incidents in the Metropolitan police area. Compare that to over 23,000 between 1999 and 2000 (Institute of Race Relations). Additionally, racist terms continue to be employed by youth as well as adults in the cities, to refer to those of immigrant backgrounds especially South Asian and East Asian descent. Take into account as well that less than 2% of the population in London is of East Asian descent (UK ethnicity cards denote either ‘Chinese’ or ‘other’ for East Asians) and NOT a new immigrant, which means exposure to East Asian cultures and peoples is extremely low.

Mr. Denham was making the case that in the UK today, class is the first impediment to education, job acquisition or housing, not race. The steps that Labour have encouraged to bring the UK system to this place are good steps, but they are only preliminary. Additionally, attitudes towards different cultures in the cities centers are in stark contrast to those in the countryside (as is true of most countries). More needs to be done and the small steps over the past few years cannot create a sense of complacency in the issue. But if Labour is going to the lengths it is in to push the publication of this new paper to the detriment of the BNP, it seems action is on the minds of the government, and hopefully it stays there.

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POST: In Praise of Mr. Olbermann

August 11, 2009

Last night’s well-thought out, highly personalized, and not to mention passionate Special Comment on Countdown with Keith Olbermann should be touted. And thank god, it has been…by some. I want to add my voice to those that approval of his capacity to not only put into words all that I could was so eloquently feeling, but he did so with a poetic aptitude that certainly met with the approbation of this lowly blogger.

He first started out with a studied attack on Sarah Palin, stating the (to me, all too obviousness) that she is “a clear and present danger to the safety and security of this nation.” As for the possibility of her return to politics, this Viscount of Volubility said that her assertion that ‘death panels’ would determine your and your families ‘worth’ ” should debar you, for all time, from any position of responsibility or trust in the governance of this nation or any of its states or municipalities.” He warned Palin and others favorable to fear mongering to be wary of their actions, citing a story I hadn’t heard of of a AstroTurfer bringing a gun to a town hall.  He finished his Palin ministration with a much needed, “God forgive you, Ms. Palin.”

He then went on to eulogize the death of rational American political thinking, citing such veteran irrationals as Glenn Beck (all around lunatic and poison fetishist), Lou Dobbs (birthers supporter), Senator John Corynyn (R-Texas) (well-known now for his assertion that the WH is trying to compile personal contact information under the guise of soliciting health care opinions), and the infamous birthers.

To finish, he cited this from President Lincoln’s first inaugural address:
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.  The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

It saddens me that in 2009, frustrated media men have been forced to quote the words of a man battling the ravages of the Civil War, to combat the hatred spurned bu AstroTurfers, birthers, and other all around racists. Sure, it’s not as though racial inequalities and racism in general would disappear (or even lessen) with the inauguration of President Obama, but the flare-ups of racism disguised as health care debate, or, so ludicrously, as ‘real’ interest in the state of American politics, more so than making me angry, simply make me tired.

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POST: Bloggers Go Too Far in Joker “Race” Characterization

August 6, 2009
    Images of Obama invoking the Joker have begun to pop up around LA. Come on, haven't we seen this before...recently?

Images of Obama invoking the Joker have begun to pop up around LA. Come on, haven't we seen this before...recently?

In an unsurprising move by hardliners against President Obama’s health care plan, posters have begun popping up around Los Angeles, depicting a creepy image of the President invoking the Heath Ledger-esque Joker from the Dark Knight. As a unwavering supporter of the President’s health care plan, this new-ish development is not a shock to me – after the lengths we have seen people go to, busing themselves around to Town Hall meetings purely for the purpose of disrupting local debates, the time it would take someone to Photoshop some crude image over Obama’s face and paste it down by Venice would actually be a shorter means to their end.  And, come on, this is LA we’re talking about. Having been born and raised there, although there is a large contingency of liberals, conservatives come in all shapes and sizes too – even ones with negligible artistic abilities and a computer.

Much More Menacing

Much More Menacing

In fact, you could even say I am slightly relieved that the Obama image, see above, is less scary and remarkably less creepy as the Bush image sent into Vanity Fair in July of last year (see left).  The Bush image, by artist and author Drew Friedman, is far scarier, far more overt in terms of it psychotic characteristics (and in the view of the Pwn3r, far more accurate…).

But, what I have the most beef with is the way people blow these kinds of things out of proportion. Yes, it is another example of a highly misinformed person mis-characterizing and misunderstanding both the President and the health care plan being proposed, in general. But, come on, it is hardly as detrimental as the Town Hall disruptors and it is certainly not racist.

Washington Post Staff Writer Philip Kennicott’s Op-Ed today in Arts & Living takes it too far.  When one looks at the image of Obama, I think what would be called to mind would be Heath Ledgers amazing, but disturbing, portrayal of the Joker in the Dark Knight.  The word “socialism” placed below is an obvious caveat on the part of the “artist,” albiet misguided. But, take a hard look at it, and I think the average man on the street will not make the connection between this image and “the inner city, a source of political instability in the 1960s and ’70s, and a lingering bogeyman in political consciousness despite falling crime rates.”  Later in the article, he purports that “The charge of socialism is secondary to the basic message that Obama can’t be trusted, not because he is a politician, but because he’s black.” Come on. The last thing I think anyone would see in this image, is a race issue. Agree? Disagree? Please leave a comment.